Earn your living form courier work? If the answer is yes, then your vehicle is your biggest investment and your most important tool. It requires a huge amount of investment and a chunk of costs which go to fuel and maintenance. |
If you are interested in increasing your fuel efficiency and maximising your potential profit, read on for my top tips.
First of All: Measuring Your Mileage
Plenty of people, even those carrying out courier work on a daily basis, do not know how to measure their average fuel mileage. Many rely on the computer read-out on the dashboard - but this is only an estimate and often optimistic, so it is better to calculate it yourself.
Simply fill up your vehicle to capacity. The next time you fill it up, make a note of the miles or kilometres done and the number of litres put in. Divide one by the other and you have your miles or kilometres per litre. Do this a few times and take an average to give you the most accurate answer.
How To Reduce Fuel Mileage
Tip 1: Go Easy with The Right Foot
The key to efficient fuel usage is to drive steadily. Even if you are on a job and have a heavy courier workload, don’t tear away from traffic lights or junctions, and keep your speed to 70mph on the motorway. This is the most efficient way of conserving fuel. Driving slower reduces drag and so minimises the need for more power.
Tip 2: Change Your Octane
Do you really need to be driving with premium or medium fuel in your tank? What is wrong with ‘regular’? If you have a high-compression engine, then the more expensive fuel is relevant, but otherwise, it is a waste of money.
Tip 3: Check Your Tyre Pressure
Check your tyres regularly and you will be onto a winner. Driving with low-pressure tyres increases the rolling resistance of the tyre on the road, in turn increasing fuel usage.
Tip 4: Change Your Air Filter
The air filter in the engine is an important element that needs taking care of. It absorbs all the dust and dirt in the air. As it begins to clog up, the engine has to work harder to suck air through it, and because of the reduced airflow, the engine uses more fuel to keep it functioning as it should. These filters are very easy to replace, or you can always get your local garage to do it.
Tip 5: Clean the Fuel Injectors
Keep these clean and you keep carbon deposits to a minimum. Once clean, the injectors work to provide an even fuel-air mix, which makes for a more efficient burn in the cylinder. This consequently improves fuel mileage. You can clean these yourself with a little research, or get them done professionally at a garage. It will pay to keep them ship shape.
If you make an effort to take these tips on board, you should see roughly a 15% improvement in fuel mileage. While this may not sound a lot, when you consider the amount of journeys involved in courier work, you will see a huge saving over a year. If you are serious about saving money, you have to keep that average fuel mileage as low as possible.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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